Whenever I go into those airport bookstores, I always wonder who buys those Penthouse and Playboy magazines. Now I know. On the flight from JFK to Dusseldorf, there was an elegantly dressed German business man in the first classs row beside me casually browsing the Penthouse pictures and Playboy centerfold during the flight, leaving the magazines open in front of him as the stewardesses served him his drinks and snacks. The stewardesses seemed unfazed by it but I found it pretty bizarre.
It’s my third day here in Germany teaching the American approach to TV writing and "showrunning" to a dozen local writer/producers. They are eager, open-minded and enthusiastic to learn how we do things. For them, the four-act structure and the notion of a series "franchise" is a revelation. We’ve been screening episodes of American TV programs and analyzing the structure together of the stories and the overall series concepts. Today, we’re going to look at some of their programs and explore how the four-act structure, and a clearly articulated franchise built on character-based conflict could improve the shows they are already working on. I’ve been having a great time and eating like a moose. At night, I’ve been hammering away at my eighth DM novel, trying to get it done to make my deadline. The temperatures here are in the high 90s and the Germans are really suffering — they aren’t used to this kind of heat. It was 118 at home when I left, so for me this is almost winter.